Some questions:

How will the new budget deal effect education spending?
Can Federal Work Study funds be used to pay students for student teaching?
Whose 29th anniversary is it today?

Washington Update, July 26, 2019


Dear Colleagues:

Congress is heading out of town - the House leaving today for a six-week recess and the Senate leaving at the end of next week. With the amazing budget deal headed for the finish line, September promises to be full of appropriations bills, including the education funding bill we've all been waiting for.

1. UNBELIEVABLE: Congress and the White House Make a Deal on 2 Year Budget Caps and Debt Ceiling

In a stunning proactive bipartisan move, the Congress and the White House have agreed to a two-year budget deal. This frees up all lawmakers and the President to focus on the 2020 elections without the threat of a government shutdown. Key features of the deal include:

The House passed the budget deal by a vote of 284 to 149. The majority of Republican House members (132) voted against the deal (believing it is too much spending) while 219 Democrats supported the package. Many consider this a great victory for the Democrats and Speaker Pelosi (D-CA).

President Trump has indicated that he supports the deal, paving the way for the Republican-controlled Senate to pass it next week. You will recall that the House has already passed all 12 of its appropriations bills; and the Senate has not acted on any of them, as it was waiting for an agreement on the budget caps. Now that that agreement is complete, Sen. Shelby (R-AL), chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee, will begin to set the individual caps for each of the 12 bills. Education advocates are promoting a significant increase for the Labor/HHS/Education appropriations bill. Once the cap is set for that bill, education advocates will work to see increases in individual programs. September is likely to feature the passage of all 12 appropriations bills. The end of the fiscal year is September 30, 2019, so the pressure will be on to move quickly.


2. Department of Education to Begin Pilot on Federal Work-Study Program, Including Student Teaching

In May, Sec. DeVos announced a pilot program which will allow some colleges to use Federal Work-Study benefits for off campus employment, including apprenticeships and clinical practice. The $1 billion Federal Work-Study program provides student aid to colleges to subsidize work for students; critics point out that too little of the work-study funds are targeted to help students with career goals. About 92% of the funding goes to on-campus employment, with 8% going to local nonprofits and 1% going for private sector jobs. The Trump Administration would like to see more students supported in private sector jobs.

The pilot would enable qualifying universities to use funds to support teacher candidates during their student teaching. Letters of interest in the experiment were due to the Department July 8; however, letters can still be submitted and may be considered. See links below for details.

3. Over 40 Democratic Lawmakers Call for Better Data on Seclusion and Restraint in Schools

Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) and Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA) led a letter to Sec. DeVos urging the Department to implement GAO recommendations for improving data collection on seclusion and restraint by the 2017-18 data collection effort. They request an explanation and timeline for how the recommendations will be implemented by August 5, 2019. GAO noted that the Civil Rights Data Collection had repeatedly published data without "always correcting known reporting errors." A Department spokesperson said that the Office of Civil Rights is in the midst of making improvements.


4. New Resources for Educators

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